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EU evaluation of B2G e-invoicing

EU Commission evaluates impact of mandatory e-invoicing in public procurement

The EU mandated the use of e-invoicing in 2019 via Directive 2014/55/EU. The European Commission has issued the results of an evaluation of this policy. Key conclusions included:

  • The Directive secured many efficiencies for government and businesses via harmonising the use of structured e-invoices around the EU’s EN 16931 standard.
  • This has included wider global adoption and replications, particularly adopting the EU’s Peppol standard
  • However, ensuring full interoperability, including the transmission level, remains challenging.
  • This problem is likely to widen as countries extend their e-invoicing to B2B transactions with very different structures, data schemes etc.

The EU is planning to build on this success with EU VAT in the Digital Age proposals for harmonisation of intra-community B2B e-invoicing.

A significant number of Member States, 17 out of 23 surveyed, confirmed that the benefits of eInvoicing outweighed their associated costs at the national level for all stakeholders. The benefits include operational efficiencies, improved transparency, and environmental benefits. Process automation is perceived as the main driver, followed by the use of the common standard, faster processing and shortened payment delays as well as less complexity.

  • For national authorities,the main cost factor for the implementation of the Directive was the establishment of the national eInvoicing infrastructure(if it was not already in place) and the maintenance of such infrastructure, while the cost of adjustment to the European eInvoicing Standard was marginal.
  • SMEshave difficulties to quantifythe advantages brought by eInvoicing, but they state that they would clearly benefit if eInvoicing were adopted across the board and if they would be able to use eInvoicing for new innovative applications such as tax reporting, eco reporting, eInvoice financing, or customs declaration. 
  • For large enterprises, implementing eInvoicingacross differentEU Member States that have different legal and technical rules is expensive.


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